Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - At least they know when the anvil will
drop on their heads.
It will be two weeks from yesterday when more than a few NFL teams decide
they've had enough with their current coach and his regime and will make a
Undoubtedly, Dec. 31 will be "Monday, Bloody, Monday" across the NFL Nation.
(And, I apologize for the incorrect U2 song reference, but it just kind of
It's the same story the day after every regular season ends. The names and
teams change, but the press conference is always the same as some team exec
will say: "We're just looking for a change in direction."
The big question is how many teams will make the change?
You could make an argument that 11 current coaches could be ex-coaches in less
than two weeks. Now, that number is likely too high, and the argument to axe
some of these guys is flimsy, but does anything an NFL owner does when his
team is struggling truly surprise you?
And what if that's the case? The league only has 32 teams and over a third of
the coaches could be gone? Wow.
Let's take a look at the "could be" unlucky 11 in order of who is in the most
Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles: The longest tenured coach in the league
probably already has his bags packed. After his team went 8-8 last year, owner
Jeff Lurie said his Eagles had to make marked improvement in order for Reid to
keep his job. The Birds haven't done that, meaning Reid will go. For his sake,
he won't be unemployed long and will be back on an NFL sideline in 2013.
Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers: Every year the Chargers are picked to be a
Super Bowl contender and every year they're not. Same story this year. It's
time for a change. Look for Reid to replace Turner.
Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers. You have to feel badly for Rivera considering
this is only his second season in charge, but impatience is part of the NFL.
This team, and Rivera, needed Cam Newtown to take a big step and the defense
to improve. Those things didn't happen.
Pat Shurmur, Cleveland Browns: Like Rivera, Shurmur is only in his second
season, but the team was sold in October and the house will be cleaned.
Cleveland has a ton of talented rookies that Shurmur won't have a chance to
Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals: The Cards jumped out to a 4-0 start and
just went in the dumper. Quarterback injuries and dissension will do
Mike Munchak, Tennessee Titans: Munchak may be the third guy with only two
seasons in charge to be told to collect his things. If this happens, it would
be just amazing to see another short termer let go so soon.
Rex Ryan, New York Jets: Ryan is a breath of fresh air because he speaks his
mind in a league full of coaches that don't. But all of his bluster, plus a
bevy of problems in New York could spell the end.
Chan Gailey, Buffalo Bills: He's only had three seasons at the helm, and I
don't think he'll go, but stranger things have happened in the coaching
Mike Mularkey, Jacksonville Jaguars: This is his first season and it might be
his last. If that's the case, and I hope it's not, the guys who brought him in
should also follow him out the door.
Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions: A lot was expected of the Lions this season and
they didn't deliver. Will that mean the end for Schwartz? It shouldn't, but.
Romeo Crennel, Kansas City Chiefs: Crennnel is a good coach in his first year
with a bad team. Add in the tragedy with the recent shootings and Crennel has
to return, no questions asked.
OK, with all of these vacancies, who do teams find to fill them? Jon Gruden
can't go everywhere, so all of you assistants, and college coaches, get your
resumes ready fast.
Drew Markol has been a sports writer and columnist for several Philadelphia-
area newspapers for over 25 years.
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